The Toronto Public Library (TPL) announced the rollout of its curbside drop-off and pick-up service starting Monday, May 25.
On Friday, the TPL said that select library drop boxes will be opened to accept the return of library materials and on June 1, drop boxes at all remaining accessible branches will open to accept returns.
The TPL estimates that there are more than one million items currently out on loan.
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Throughout this time, library customers can continue to place holds online, through the TPL website and will then be able to pick up their materials through a curbside pick-up service which will be available in early June.
The suspension of fines implemented when the pandemic began will continue until regular service resumes.
“Safely and carefully reopening our libraries to residents in this phased approach is another step in our journey to recovery and getting residents back to activities they engaged in prior to the pandemic,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.
“We look forward to reopening more programs and services in the coming weeks and months when our public health officials advise that it is safe to do so.”
According to the City, the introduction of these services will follow the reopening framework provided by the Province of Ontario, the advice of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the Toronto Medical Officer of Health, and incorporates best practices within library and retail industries for the safe delivery of curbside service.
“We are all excited about this first step in the reinstatement of our services, with the introduction of curbside drop-off and pick-up of materials,” Vickery Bowles, a City Librarian said.
“It’s been so heartwarming to see the public excitement about this news. We know how many Torontonians rely on their library to stay connected, informed and engaged.”
Last week, the Province announced that Ontario libraries are allowed to resume limited services, with curbside pick-up and drop-off of materials, when they can do so safely.
While all library branches remain closed to the public for in-branch services, many online library services continue to be available.
Also, to help the City’s most vulnerable during the pandemic, 11 of TPL’s branches have been set up as pop-up food banks and have been “serving thousands of clients over the past two months.”
As these branches open to curbside pick-up of materials, these food banks will be transitioned to other community partners, with no interruption of service.
The City will make an announcement about these new locations in the coming weeks.